Navarra: Marc VDS preview

GETTING TO KNOW THE NAVARRA CIRCUIT This weekend it's the eighth round of the FIA GT1 World Championship for the Marc VDS Racing Team, which is held on the brand new circuit of Navarra, in northern Spain. The Ford GT ...

GETTING TO KNOW THE NAVARRA CIRCUIT

This weekend it's the eighth round of the FIA GT1 World Championship for the Marc VDS Racing Team, which is held on the brand new circuit of Navarra, in northern Spain. The Ford GT #40 will as usual be driven by the pairing of Bas Leinders and Maxime Martin, while on the #41 Italian Matteo Bobbi will join Markus Palttala for the first time.

The eighth of ten rounds on the 2010 calendar of the FIA GT1 World Championship was originally scheduled in Durban, South Africa. But that event was cancelled and replaced by a race on the brand new track of Navarra.

The Navarra circuit, situated between Pamplona and Logroño in northern Spain, has a length of 3,933 kms. With six left turns and nine to the right it is a rather technical and at places narrow track. "Quite a slow circuit, sometimes reminding of Portimao, so that should favour the Ford", says Maxime Martin, who has driven the Navarra track several times... on a simulator. "It's a good preparation, so we can be in the running from the first free practice session. You can only adapt the car once you are on the track for real, however."

The very modern infrastructure, situated in a 101 acres paddock, makes this track a rather unique venue. There are no less than 32 garages of over 1000 ft", 17 reception rooms, with terraces overlooking the start-finish line, a press room, conference rooms, a medical centre and a heliport.

But the Marc VDS Racing Team is not traveling to northern Spain to stand in awe of yet another new track. Bas Leinders and Maxime Martin will use the same set-up for their Ford GT as they did during the last couple of races, but Markus Palttala gets to work with 32-year old Matteo Bobbi for the first time. The Italian will join the Marc VDS Racing Team for the last three races of the season.

Matteo Bobbi started his career during the nineties, in karting. At the turn of the century that logically evolved in a career in single-seaters (Formula Nissan 2000, F3, F3000, etc.), and the Italian eventually became the test driver for the F1-team Scuderia Minardi (2002 and 2003). In 2003 Bobbi then went for a career in GT racing and in his first full season he became the GT1 world champion with a Ferrari 550 of BMS Scuderia Italia (6 wins, 1 pole, 7 podiums). The next year he conquered the title of vice-champion for the same team (2 wins, 3 poles, 6 podiums). Then for the next six years Bobbi drove all over the world, from the United States to Europe, at the wheel of cars like the Saleen S7-R, Ferrari 430 or Maserati MC12, cars with which he won at the highest level. Him rejoining the Marc VDS Racing Team can only be considered a great reinforcement for the Belgian team.

"I am very much looking forward in meeting the team and driving the Ford GT, a car that has fascinated me deeply since it made its first GT1-appearance last year", the Italian states. "The Ford certainly is one of the most iconic cars and has proven its competitiveness. I can hardly wait to get behind the wheel!"

-source: marc vds

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About this article
Series Blancpain Sprint
Drivers Matteo Bobbi , Bas Leinders , Markus Palttala , Maxime Martin
Teams Nissan Motorsports , Marc VDS Racing